Why no rock music in Star Trek?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Lynx, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. Lynx

    Lynx Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Since a lot of main characters seem to be interested in music and culture from the past, it strikes me that late 20th century rock music seem to be totally abandoned when it comes to what the Star Trek generations people are listening to.

    The only reference to late 20th culture and music in TOS are those space hippies who show up in the episode "The way To Eden". Plus the fact that Chekov looked like Davy Jones of The Monkees. But nothing more.

    In TNG, Riker enjoys playing trombone in some 20th century jazz club on the holodeck. But it seems to be in an environment from the 1940:s or 1950:s, before rock music started. Otherwise it's classical music for Picard, Data and the others. One exception is Zefram Cocrane in "First Contact" but his appearance wasn't in the 24th century.
    And yes, we have that country singer who had been frozen and brought back to life on the Enterprise. But he was from back then, not a 24th century person.

    In DS9, the closest we get when it comes to 20th century music is Vic Fontaine. But he's doing Sinatra style music and his holodeck program is a music club in 1962, the year before The Beatles gave rock music a new boost.

    In Voyager, we have Harry Kim who plays classical music on his clarinet. We do have Tom paris who claims to be a fan of 20th century North American culture, specifically the latter half of that century's pop culture. But no rock music in any Paris-created holodeck things, not even an Elvis song, despite his interest in old cars from that era.

    So why no rock music in Star Trek? Has that music such a bad reputation in the 24th century Federation that it's totally forbidden?

    Or are all Star Trek producers boring old woodblocks who don't appreciate rock music in any form?
     
  2. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Admiral Admiral

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    TNG tended to treat current pop culture as something frivolous.
     
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  3. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Nightlife, Baby! Moderator

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    In Universe: that's unsophisticated slop better left on the ash heap of history (like television).

    IRL: Expensive royalties
     
  4. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Does Sabotage not count?
     
  5. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Nightlife, Baby! Moderator

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  6. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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  7. Sarxus

    Sarxus Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    As a lover of metal and rock music myself, the question why it's not so much representated in Star Trek had come also to my mind some times. I think there's no clear in-universe explanation and I don't think that the federation, which stands also for being tolerant and open-minded, has abandoned it. I guess they didn't really incorporate it in the series because maybe it wouldn't have been so easy to "sell". Also I must admit that classical or jazz music, which are presented often especially in TNG, just fit better somehow. I couldn't really think of any main character in any ST series whom I'd consider a rock or even metal enthusiast (apart from Worf maybe :guffaw: but well, he's all into that klingon opera stuff).

    But I recently watched the Voyager episode "Virtuoso" where different "old" music styles from the earth are presented to those alien dudes and as far as I remember, rock or rock'n'roll is at least mentioned.
     
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  8. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Except for maybe the Beatles, I doubt most popular music will be remembered 200 years from now.
     
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  9. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Who?
     
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Rock music belonged to a less civilized time. No place for it in the more enlightened age of the Federation.

    Everybody knows that polka rules now...
    :vulcan:
     
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  11. CRM-114

    CRM-114 Captain Captain

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    Why no rock music in Star Trek? Simple: it costs money. Rights fees. In the case of First Contact, there's more money in the budget to use it, and it was appropriate to the mood and character of Zefram Cochrane.
     
  12. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Commodore Commodore

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    I seem to recall a novel (maybe Diane Duane?) in which DEVO showed up in a throwaway list of "classical music."

    At any rate, that which we call classical music isn't listened to because it's old; rather, it's the stuff that's still listened to in spite of being old. Remember Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is shit.
     
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  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    When it comes to music, Star Trek's favorite genre is "public domain." :)
     
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  14. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Not the Who, the Beatles.
     
  15. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Tomorrow Never Knows Premium Member

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    Nice choice
     
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  16. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    Well yeah. But how many classical artists can you name off the top of your head?

    That said, I don't think it's limited to the Beatles. I think Zep, The Who, Floyd, AC/DC, Nirvana, Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Tupac, Gaga etc. are all transcendent/timeless enough.
     
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  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I referenced Gaga in a TOS novel once. Some people liked it; some people didn't. :)
     
  18. dodge

    dodge Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But... won't everything current be in the public domain by the 23rd century? ;)
     
  19. Kilana2

    Kilana2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cochrane listened to Rock'n Roll. Riker and Geordi seemed to enjoy it in the Phoenix. The Vulcans obviously didn't, though, when they were introduced to it.
     
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  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Tomorrow Never Knows Premium Member

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    Vulcans aren't fond of the beats and the shouting, except for Spock of course.